This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I am focusing in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will post a summary page with some thoughts about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey! Click here to see where we’ve been so far!
The Big Picture of Habakkuk:
Habakkuk is a unique book of prophecy. Whereas most prophets share a message for God’s people from God, this three chapter book simply narrates a conversation between God and Habakkuk. In the first two chapters, Habakkuk can’t understand how the God he knew let all the wickedness happen in the world, both among His people and those around them. It’s almost as if he says, “But you’re GOD! Surely these things won’t happen.” God replies, “Yes, they will happen.” He tells Habakkuk that the Babylonians really will overwhelm them, yet also makes it clear that in the end He wins. The book wins with a powerful declaration from Habakkuk that no matter what happens he will continue to trust and rejoice in God.
The Big Picture of Zephaniah:
Zephaniah prophesied while King Josiah was reigning (around the same time as Jeremiah, Nahum, and possibly Habakkuk). A key phrase we see over and over in Zephaniah’s book is “the day of the Lord”. He outlines the judgment on that day but also points to the beauty of salvation that comes with that day as well–that on that day God will gather all of His people and reign over everything. Even though Zephaniah is a minor prophet (meaning the book is shorter than some of the others like Isaiah and Jeremiah) he talks a great deal about Christ. It is a book of encouragement to the people to not give up on trusting God in the middle of their captivity. He reminds that a day is coming when a Savior will come and set everything right.
The Big Picture of Haggai:
Haggai shares the first prophecy after the captivity in Babylon. It sets the stage for rebuilding in the first chapter, calling people to rebuild the temple. In Chapter two God spoke to Haggai telling him that His spirit still remains among the people and they don’t need to be afraid. This book clearly shows the outcomes of obedience vs disobedience and speaks of the coming of the Messiah.
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book(s) each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “See he is puffed up; his desires are not upright–but the righteous will live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
REFLECTION: What does it look like to live by faith for you this week?
- “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Habakkuk 3:2)
REFLECTION: How can you take time to stand in awe of God today?
- “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
REFLECTION: What would your “though”s be right now? How would you fill in this sentence: “Even though ______, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”?
- “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.” (Zephaniah 2:3)
REFLECTION: How can you seek righteousness and humility this week?
- “Morning by morning he dispenses his justice, and every new day he does not fail…” (Zephaniah 3:5)
REFLECTION: What is a way you can remember these truths about God each morning? Why might the morning be a good time to recall them?
- “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
REFLECTION: Take some time to be still and ponder these truths: God delights in YOU, longs to quiet with you His great love, and sings over you.
- “Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: ‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord.” (Haggai 1:13)
REFLECTION: Who could you encourage this week with the truth that God is with them?
- “‘…and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord” (Haggai 2:23b)
REFLECTION: How can you live as a chosen son or daughter of God this week?
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video of Habakkuk
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for Habakkuk
- The Bible Project summary video of Zephaniah
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for Zephaniah
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through each of the books. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!